It's unfortunate that Dana Goodyear chose to depict interior designer Kelly Wearstler as the admirable "it girl" of maximal style in this week's New Yorker Magazine (“Lady of the House,” September 14). Wearstler could not be a worse role model for designers of the future.
Every lavish material that she suggests to her uber-rich clients—whether metallic wallpaper, onyx countertop or cheetah print chintz—is now understood to be either damaging to ecosystems or human health in its production and use. Willfully disregarding her profession's new-found and urgent focus on sustainability, Wearstler pursues and promotes over-the-top aesthetics for the upper class at the expense of everything else. Goodyear anoints Wearstler the contemporary heiress of interior design's aristocratic legacy that began with Elsie de Wolfe, without acknowledging that the century-old trust fund is now bankrupt.
Today's real visionary designers are the ones who are knowledgeable about the environmental and social impacts of the materials they use, offer pro bono services, and work to educate clients that beautiful, daring interiors need not be toxic.